Kenny Golladay brushed aside questions about his disappointing season with the Giants as if it never happened.
There is little statistical evidence that it actually does.
Golladay was not one of the 274 players in the NFL last season — despite playing in 14 games and collecting the first $18.4 million of his four-year, $72 million contract.
“It was unfortunate, but he played a big part in it,” Golladay said Monday as he tried to turn the page on the upcoming season. “Every offense wants to start fast, but to be honest, we didn’t even talk about last year.”
A veteran executive added to the Giants’ front office this offseason has told others around the league that the size and structure of Golladay’s investment deal makes it the “worst” he’s seen in his career from a team perspective, according to multiple sources. Post.
With then-head coach Joe Judge’s push to add playmakers and then-general manager Dave Gettleman thinking in the short term, the Giants backed Golladay’s deal to fit under the 2021 salary cap, meaning he has the most responsibility among them. Offensive linemen in 2022 ($21.1 million) and 2023 ($21.4 million). The Giants invested the most 2022 cap-dollars of any NFL team, according to spotrac.com.
Just like that, Golladay, who had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in his third season with the Lions, went as a third-round NFL draft steal to be drafted as a free agent. Did the contractions of the chest put too much pressure on the shoulders?
“No, never,” Golladay said. “Last year was just a lot of different moving parts. It was last year,” he said.
Golladay, 28, set the tone for an injury-riddled season after missing most of last training camp with a pulled muscle. He never saw eye-to-eye with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett before the offseason. The passing attack was ineffective in six games played by backup quarterbacks.
All of those factors changed in the first year under head coach Brian Daboll’s “most receiver-friendly” scheme.
“First of all, the offense is completely different,” Golladay said. “The coach puts people in different positions with defense in mind. It gives you a lot of freedom. You don’t have to be too cookie-cutter or do what’s on the paper. You can get out there and make the road your own.
In a rare highlight for the offense during Monday’s practice, Golday went 11-on-11 in traffic. But the most encouraging sign is the chemistry building part of the first-team offense after Goldey redshirted to suggest limitations during spring practice. He declined to say whether it was due to an injury or a new injury.
“I think this year the training staff, the strength staff and then the coaching staff to take care of our bodies – and then we as players do the right thing on and off the field,” he said. “I feel happy. I’m in a good place now.”
To make up for lost time, Golladay spent most of his offseason in the New York area to match up with quarterback Daniel Jones.
“The receivers in our system have a lot to learn, a lot of different positions to play,” Daboll said. “And I think at camp, when you think a little bit at the beginning, a lot of things are going through your head. And maybe you don’t play fast. That’s why we’re giving it another week or two, so there’s a little bit left.
With the Dabball offense running fast receivers Whan’Dale Robinson and Kadarius Toney, even running backs Saquon Barkley and Jones in pre-snap activity, the 6-foot-4 Golladay isn’t fooling anyone. His job is to beat contested jump balls on the perimeter.
“I’m my own player,” Goldey said. “I have full confidence that Dabes will put me in the right place. I have to make a play. I’m sure the defenses in the league know I’m not going to get a late rounder or a reverse or anything.
If he can get Golladay back into the end zone and give the Giants an extra run for their money, don’t take it for granted.